Things are really hitting up between the Nigerian government and members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). The latest report reaching us is that Nigerian students have in one voice, rejects the industrial court order, authorizing ASUU to call off its 7-month strike.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has publicly disclosed that they are against the industrial court judgment that mandated the Academic Staff Union of Universities to call off its 7-month strike.
Recalled that the National Industrial Court of Nigeria has disclosed that they will be hearing the case brought against ASUU by the Federal government today, September 21, 2022. Well, the court favoured the federal government and ordered ASUU to call off its ongoing nationwide strike that has affected millions of Nigerian students, that have been sitting home for seven (7) months and counting, due to the strike action taken by the union.
Reacting to this court order today, the NANS National Public Relations Officer, Giwa Temitope, referred to the ruling as a “black market judgment.”
Giwa Temitope further disclosed that the ruling by the industrial court of Nigeria has betrayed equity because the Federal Government ought not to drag the academic union before the court in the first place.
The statement released by NANS reads:
“Our attention has been drawn to news of a court judgment that ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its 7 month strike. As an association, we feel disturbed to read the news of the judgment because we believe that it betrays justice and fairness.
“First and foremost, in a saner climate, the Federal Government is not meant to have dragged the striking union, ASUU to court. But, the fact that they had to drag ASUU to court is a signal that this government cannot handle crisis. And, we want to state categorically that the court cannot force members of ASUU back to lecture theatres without the federal government honoring the agreement they had with this same union, many years ago.
This court order mandating members of the striking union to resume full academic activities is wrong. We maintain that the industrial court has not resolved the problem and we reject the judgment in all totality. The court could have done things the right way by asking the Nigerian Federal Government to go and pay the debts they owe ASUU, rather than say that lecturers who are on strike should go back to classrooms. We were expecting the court to have understood that lecturers are on a contract of personal service hence, they cannot be compelled to render a service they don’t want to render.
“The only viable solution that we all know would end this strike action take by ASUU, is for the Federal Government to accept the demands of the union, which by the way, isn’t too difficult for the government to do. Lets not forget that this is the SAME government that willingly entered into this agreement with them to properly fund education.”
What is your take on this? Do you support the judgement by the Industrial Court of Nigeria, or NANS stand on this issue?